Johnson-Lynch discusses areas for improvement, Hatch’s recovery

Iowa State volleyball players celebrate after securing a point against No.1 Texas on Oct. 21.

Andrew Harrington

Despite losing a pair of matches against Texas last week, there was a lot that the Iowa State volleyball team could take away and improve upon as the team looks to build a winning streak late in the season.

With a pair of matches against West Virginia on the horizon, Iowa State is looking to tune up some things both offensively and defensively to keep its position in the Big 12 standings secure.

Cleaning up the flaws

In order for the Cyclones to find success over the coming weekend, both the offense and defense will need to figure out some things in practice. Head coach Christy Johnson-Lynch said the all-around play for the Cyclones against Texas was just not enough to give the team a chance to win.

“We have to keep being us, we serve tough, we play great defense and at times we lost that a little bit against Texas,” Johnson-Lynch said. “And we have got to get our offense going, against Texas we did not hit very well on the weekend.”

The Cyclones posted a hitting percentage of .000 on Thursday and .118 on Friday, coming as a bit of a surprise as Iowa State sits fourth in the Big 12 with a team hitting percentage of .231.

Senior Eleanor Holthaus believes that if the team stays true to itself, the path to victory will become clear.

“For us going into this next match just focusing on what we need to do on our side of the net, whether that’s our defense, is always good, our blocking, just doing the things that we know how to do very well is going to be key for us,” Holthaus said.

Winning together

Playing as a unit is something that Iowa State has done sometimes this season, but has lacked at other times. Outside hitter Annie Hatch believes that if the team is going to have a successful finish to the season it will have to develop more cohesion.

“We are going to have to be really good and low-error and dig a lot of balls. I think offensively they are really solid and just staying balanced offensively as a team, so just staying together and winning together,” Hatch said.

Johnson-Lynch also stressed the importance of communication, saying that is one of the main sources of success for the offense.

Hatch’s production

Hatch has been battling an injury for a large chunk of the season, causing her to miss time early on and be limited in Big 12 play. During Friday’s match against Texas, Hatch finished in a tie for the team-lead with nine kills, marking what was possibly her best performance since going down with the injury.

Johnson-Lynch is very excited to see Hatch playing her best volleyball once again this season.

“Just continuing to grow her confidence, you know the injury took her out for a bit and that can take a while to come back from,” Johnson-Lynch said. “I think every week she is looking more and more confident, in a better rhythm, she is finding her best game again so it’s pretty exciting to see this time of year.”

Hatch credits the energy that the team has for the improvements that she has made as the season progressed.

“It’s kind of a whole team effort, like playing with confidence and hyping each other up helps a lot so I feel like my team has confidence in me.” Hatch said.

The Cyclones return to Hilton Coliseum to for matches against West Virginia at 1p.m. both Saturday and Sunday.